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Ramp protects underground pipes, upsets ground traffic

Built to protect underground utilities, it leads to commuting woes for those plying on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road near Five Garden Junction

Thanks to the recently inaugurated 100m long ramp below the King's Circle flyover by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), motorists plying on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road near Five Garden Junction are having a roller coaster ride.


A by-product: The ramp is an outcome of a dicey alignment of pipelines
underneath the road's surface.
Pic/Satyajit Desai
 

"With majority of vehicles using the flyover, the vehicles on the road below move at high-speeds, especially when the signal is green. This ramp acts as an obstacle while manoeuvring vehicles," said Prashant Iyer, a Matunga resident who commutes via this road daily. In addition, the ramp also proves problematic for those motorists wanting to take a U-turn at the signal, as the curve is too steep.

The ramp is an outcome of a dicey alignment of pipelines underneath the road's surface. At the time of construction of the flyover, the authorities had discovered several age-old underground utilities that had no mention in the civic body's records. Sources within the MMRDA disclosed that, had they not resorted to raising the height of the road by constructing the ramp, chances of pipelines - that were only a few millimetres beneath the road's surface - getting ruptured due to constant vehicular movement were high.

"The average clearance required between the two ends of the pile caps (the structure on which the pillar stands) and underground utilities must be at least 0.5 meter. However, in this case, it was less than the minimum requirement. Hence, we came up with the idea of constructing a ramp," said a senior MMRDA official.

If not for the ramp, then the other alternative would have been the tedious process of digging up the road and then pushing the underground utilities deeper into the ground.

"The ramp was thrown open for public use just a week ago," said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson, MMRDA.

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